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Thread: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services


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Baylor

Posts: 20
Registered: 02/13/17
Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 4, 2017 9:45 PM
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Hello to all! I'm here to just to give a bit of advice that I hope will help out some people searching around for some 'professional' help.

I'm a budding author with three books out so far, three books on which I did everything myself. Yeah, I'm that poor. Anyway, I want to do a second edition of the first one now that I'm a little ways into the whole writing thing, so I figured I'd hire myself a beta reader on Kboards.

I just want to say to be absolutely sure that you want to do something like that. I did a lot of research on different people offering their services there and finally picked one. They were full up for months but suggested I contact their partner. I did and they gave me an estimate of 10 days for completion. It is now day 15 and I have gotten a whole three comments within the first ten pages of my 155 page manuscript, and two of them were about adding a letter to a word.

I'm not trying to say paid services anywhere, much less Kboards, is a bad idea or a scam. Just maybe consider whether or not you're ready to trust it just yet.

PS: Am I overreacting? I would hate to get a bad opinion of somebody unjustly. This is my first experience with this.
jamesfc

Posts: 2,551
Registered: 08/14/11
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 12:05 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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Well, something's dead wrong here! I've been doing editing for 35 years and I am able to get the complete job back to the author normally within 7-10 days. I also keep the author informed as to how things are going and usually contact them every 2-3 days. There are other editors like myself on this forum and I'm told they're pretty reliable also. I run an ad on KBoards also for editing but generally end up with time wasters, tire kickers and those with absolutely no money anyway. I've got my own stable of regular repeat authors but accept new ones occasionally. I sincerely hope you get this problem solved soon as nothing is more frustrating for an author as being messed around by a so-called editor!

Good Luck
James

"Treat Others as you want to be treated yourself"
Fern Bailey

Posts: 26
Registered: 10/02/17
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 12:05 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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I haven't had my morning cuppa yet and misread this at first as being about critique partners and was going to reply about free services which I've used. Did you discuss with your beta reader beforehand what kind of feedback you were after? And just out of interest, how much did you pay, and have you tried any of the free options? I ask because there are forums on Goodreads for finding beta readers and it's free. If you have an author newsletter, you could offer an ARC to subscribers. Other, better informed people will likely be able to suggest more options. Good luck!
C. Gold

Posts: 362
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 2:54 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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There are a lot of good people on kboards advertising their wares. But I'd always look for threads that had people giving testimonials to their quality since it's your money being spent, you deserve reassurance that it will be spent wisely.

With that said, sometimes stuff happens. Like the stupid hurricane in Florida which sidelined the person who was going to look over my book for free. At least everyone was safe, but it still caused quite a bit of down time for people. So there might be a valid reason why your person didn't get the work done in a timely manner, but still they should have said something about it.
writerbn

Posts: 5,027
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 5:08 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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Baylor wrote:
PS: Am I overreacting? I would hate to get a bad opinion of somebody unjustly. This is my first experience with this.
"Caveat emptor" was true over two thousand years ago, and it's still true today.
Baylor

Posts: 20
Registered: 02/13/17
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 5:24 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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Thanks everyone for your responses! I didn't think things were quite right here. I'll definitely be doing some more thinking before going forward. I do have a presence on Goodreads but I decided to try Kboards first. As for the cost it was .001ยข per word, which for me came out to $80 total, but at least the beta had a 50% up front thing so I'm not out the whole amount.
Nightscribe

Posts: 48
Registered: 11/01/16
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 5:26 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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I don't know why anyone bothers with beta readers. Why is some random person you meet on the internet going to know better what your book should be like than you do?
The only way you're going to get any kind of sensible evaluation is if you hire a good quality professional editor who has a proven track record in the publishing business. But then of course you're looking at spending hundreds of dollars that, chances are, your book will never earn back.
But โ€“ if you've got a thousand dollars or so that you don't mind saying goodbye to, then it might be worth working with a good quality editor. They'll be able to knock your book into shape to an extent, and help you with such things as narrative logic and character motivation โ€“ though of course a professional edit isn't going to help to sell a single copy of your book if there's no market for it.
And as to the random person who you met on the internet who has had your book for 15 days and has so far only advised you to add a letter to a word โ€“ they sound like a clueless nitwit whose "services" you need to dispense with as swiftly as possible.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,322
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 6:36 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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I'm not sure I'd want to edit a full novel in 10 days. I can do a professional job of 20 pages in 4-7 days. Of course, it all depends on the quality of the work coming in. I suppose if someone gave me a fascinating novel with few errors to read, I could do it in a day or two. But most of my work is instructional--teaching the craft of writing. In that arena, you just don't do a novel in 10 days.
Jackie Weger

Posts: 234
Registered: 05/13/13
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 7:19 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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Baylor: I hear you about indie author services. Go here http://enovelauthors.com/useful-links/ for a short list of vetted/proven editors. Each listing includes a link to one book or more on Amazon the editor worked on. All are reasonably priced and meet deadlines. Good luck.
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,300
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 7:41 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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If they haven't delivered the agreed services and the job and either don't pay or get a refund.
Edmund Fen

Posts: 16
Registered: 10/05/17
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 8:57 AM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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If you want an editor, a copy editor or a proofreader, then hire one. A beta reader is none of those.
Joseph M Erhardt

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Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 3:13 PM   in response to: Baylor in response to: Baylor
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Additionally, do NOT commit to a full-book edit. Do it by chapters, with a penalty-free opt out after each chapter. That's how I work it.
Baylor

Posts: 20
Registered: 02/13/17
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 9:24 PM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
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Good idea. Definitely something I'll take into account going forward. If nothing else this has been a good learning experience.
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,300
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 6, 2017 7:39 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
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I always go for a full book edit. But then I also use professionals with a long record of doing exactly what is specified in the contract.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,322
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Just a Friendly Bit of Warning About Paid Services
Posted: Oct 6, 2017 8:14 AM   in response to: Emily Veinglory in response to: Emily Veinglory
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Emily Veinglory wrote:
I always go for a full book edit. But then I also use professionals with a long record of doing exactly what is specified in the contract.

I think my point is this: Suppose you and your editor are not sympatico, or can't communicate. You'd want to know this after spending $100, not after spending $1200. Also, the bailout proviso also applies to me as editor--I can say that I don't think the client & I are a good pairing, and say Bye and wish him or her well.
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